13 Practical Things Counseling Students Learn Extracuricularly

| #025 | EXPRESSION > humor | 301 words |

Some of the best lessons a counseling student learns is not in any syllabus. Humbling stuff to keep us all humble.

Here are some practical things counseling students learn which they don’t always intentionally teach in class:

  1. The DSM-5 makes a great paperweight.

  2. Anxiety is a normal dimension in the human experience, and especially in that experience known as practicum.

  3. We’re not as “sick” as we may have feared going into this.

  4. What is “sick” is the “crazy” process we must jump through just to be sure we get paid.

  5. Diagnosis is a euphemism for getting paid.

  6. A treatment plan is an imperfect guide for imperfect people using an imperfect manual to remind us it can be okay to be humbly imperfect.

  7. Did I mention the DSM-5 makes a great paperweight?

  8. ADHD is overdiagnosed, or at least I think that’s what I heard, I wasn’t paying full attention at that moment.

  9. Paying rapt attention during research class is a good way to sharpen one’s listening skills.

  10. Mindfulness is much easier when your mind is not preoccupied with everything that might go wrong when trying to be mindful with your first client.

  11. Reflecting during a session on the technique you should’ve used is one way to practice not being fully present.

  12. Techniques and theoretical orientations are overrated, and yet they are technically or at least theoretically indispensable.

  13. Any doubts about the widespread need for counseling services can be instantly cleared up by reading a random sample of YouTube comments.

Disagree with any? Got any to add?

(And yes, I know that extracurricularly is not a real word. But then neither was psychoanalysis or Rogerian until we all agreed to use them. Language is like that, which I learned extracurricularly.)

Steph is a self-described transspirit, which is a kind of sacred misfit. By transcending conventional limits—gender norms, religious identities, political polarities, and more—Steph experiences a unique connection in life. And suspects others do as well. This blog shares that spirituality, and affirms others of a similar state of being.

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